Narooma Port Committee welcomes Bay Marine Park rezoning

File picture.

File picture.

Narooma Port Committee has welcomed the announcement on Wednesday, December 12, of five new fishing zones in the Batemans Marine Park.

The committee's chairperson Philip Creagh said it allowed the "statutory two-month consultation period to take place before regulations can be modified by NSW Parliament".

"The five zones are in the area around Narooma and include Brou Lake South (catch and release only), Wagonga Inlet, Nangudga Inlet and the south east sanctuary zone at Montague Island will be converted to Habitat Protection zones, allowing recreational fishing but still preventing destructive sea bed trawling," Mr Creagh said.

Mr Creagh said the no-take zones were "originally put in place in 2006 when the Labor Government, aided by the Greens, simply drew lines on maps to satisfy their requirement of 20 per cent fishing closures for the Batemans Marine Park".

Mr Creagh said restrictions meant the Nangudga Inlet no-take zone had "banished prawn fishing for families for the past 13 years, with absolutely no scientific or conservation outcome".

"Rather than targeting recreational line fishing it is pleasing to see the government is following principles laid out by the Marine Estate Management Authority's pursuit of identifying, and rectifying, sources of pollution and environmental damage to the marine environment," Mr Creagh said.

He said no-take zones could not rectify pollution issues.

"Amongst many examples, surely fishers would know of the pollution issues that occur in Wagonga Inlet after any significant rain event where the Inlet is closed to oyster harvest for a time, and in Sydney Harbour west of the Sydney Harbour bridge where no fish or prawns are recommended to be eaten," he said.

"No-take zones, as championed by the Greens, and so called 'conservation' groups will never rectify these issues.

"Further, Mr Constance is proposing that divers be allowed to remove sea urchins from no-take zones - a highly commended action that is known to help the biodiversity loss caused by these creatures moving south due to warming sea temperatures."

He said the change would boost South Coast tourism "just in time for the summer holidays", during the devastation of the bushfires.

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